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When #Shadows Creep #newproject !!!

I love being excited about a project again. The thrill that’s felt in creating something new is uncomparable.

It’s no secret that I had felt bogged down with “The Scars That Bind Us” – it was a lot of work and not much reward. I did some editing, got near the end, threw away a middle piece, and stared at that manuscript for weeks. And it laughed back.

I needed to take a rest, and I needed to stay creative.

I am so thankful that NaNoWriMo came into my life because it spun a new story out of my heart and mind. It also gave me a whole new backstory that could be hitched to the world of TSTBU and TSTLU and maybe make something, even more, one day.

And that’d be nice.

I have to sit down now, and I have to write the dreaded blurb. That little piece of writing that’s supposed to decide for the potential reader if they are going to go along for the ride. Or not.

How do you consolidate, an entire novel, into only a few words? Better yet, a consolidation that gives away no pertinent spoilers and doesn’t leave a bad taste in the reader’s mouth? It’s definitely a struggle.

I’ll share below my mood board for “When Shadows Creep” because it was definitely a fun and entertaining side project that helped keep the juices flowing.

Until next time, honorable readers.

moodboard

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#title vote

Sometimes coming up with the title helps me think, focus, and refine.

My problem though, comes from my need for symmetry.

I’d love to name the sequel to The Spark That Left Us in a similar format – but unfortunately, unless I am trying to translate a horribly grammatically incorrect phrase, it is giving me issues with balancing. Options are:

 

The Scar That Binds Us

or

The Scars That Bind Us

 

I am leaning towards the second one personally, as it is far more open ended.

What do you say, kind readers? I’ll allow suggestions as well 🙂

 

 

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Chapter #teaser – October Memories #spoileralert

Gonna warn you now – don’t read the following if you haven’t read The Spark That Left Us in its entirety!

 

It was well into October before I could bring myself to visit their graves.

Fall had blown in, cold and wet and weary, and the atmosphere matched my mood. Many of the leaves had been rattled from the trees in a soggy shattering before they’d even had a chance to become the vibrant torches our state was famed for.

Eventually the dismal weather patter broke, if briefly, the wet roads and sidewalks steaming in the sudden bright warmth of late season sunshine. Somehow, in an explosion of inspiration, Mateo had succeeded in bundling me up in far too many layers for the cool air, our breath only faint ghosts as we walked along the sidewalk, and I pulled the woolen hat from my head, scrunching it in my hand and thrusting it, annoyed, into my pocket.

“Deke didn’t want to join us?”

His voice was rough. Tired. Bone-deep exhaustion on his face and in his pace. He hadn’t shaved in a while, the salt and pepper stubble a deep shadow across his cheeks. I pondered the question for half a block. I heard Mateo’s intake as he began to continue the conversation, but I slipped a hand through his arm, clutching the sleeve of his worn leather jacket and shook my head, sighing.

“He wouldn’t think it was right… sharing in this,”

I waved my hand across the whole of our direction, the brightness of the trees in the cemetery peeking over the roofs of the houses in front of us. Mateo made a disgruntled noise in response, he knew better than to say anything about Deke’s involvement, but I heard it all the same. I took a deep breath, inhaling the spicy smell of the leaves, the briskness behind the warmth of the sun. It would snow soon, bringing with it all sorts of new problems.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. The snow got bad here, heavy and wet and deep, the drifts blowing through the streets overnight. I’d died, in the snow. Back before all this had happened, and now that I knew, I was hesitant. If I was completely honest with myself – I was afraid. Reggie had always called it gun-shy, regardless of whether guns were involved or not. Something terrible happens and you start avoiding anything that reminds you of it, you get wired and tense, irrationally irritable when reminded of it. Clara had got that way about driving, after a minor fender-bender had resulted in six months of public transit, as her hands would shake uncontrollably before she’d even unlocked the doors to her car.

Reggie teased it out of her, eventually, as he was always able to.

And now, here I was, without him, terrified that I’d wake up to the first snow, and would suffocate under the thought of it.

Mateo’s hand crossed his body and gently patted my arm where it linked his.

We had reached the gates, the black wrought iron elegant against the oranges and yellows of the trees beyond, the gravel path richly blanketed in fallen leaves. The wind blew down across the hill, scattering debris against our legs, and we shut our eyes against the whirling grit.

Are you ready?

“Never,” I muttered between gritted teeth and around my tensed jaw.

It hurt, that tension. And I enjoyed it. It was the only thing that had felt real this morning, since the moment that Mateo had burst in, throwing open the curtains, blinding me into sudden awareness. He’d spared a passing gaze to the empty spot on the mattress next to me; Deke had slipped away in the night, doing whatever it is that he did when the dreams became too much; and then it had been a rush, mismatched clothes pulled from the closet, a strict warning to be in them in the next five minutes. Then there was Rick, who had passed a steaming travel mug into my outstretched hand as I was dragged toward the door. Connor standing next to it, with a perplexed look on his face and my coat in his hands. I’d had a moment of utter panic flutter around my heart when I saw the blue shadows under his eyes, his socked feet on the carpet making him look young and small, and why was I being forced from my cocoon?

And then we’d been out into the brisk air, blinking and disheveled, but out. And the sky was blue, and the last few larks were swarming the tops of the trees, and it took everything in my power not to collapse on the top of the stairs, unable to set my feet on the concrete.

But now we were here. Mateo, a force to be reckoned with, had gotten me this far.

“You had your wasted summer, Addy, but it’s done you no good. This will help. Help you with some closure,” his hand tightened its grip on mine.

I had the sudden feeling he was afraid that I’d run, that he’d have to sling me over his shoulder and bodily force me to accept what I didn’t want to see. We were both much too tired for that.

 

 

 

 

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#writing the past can be hard

I’ve heard a few times now, that Deke’s flashback is one of the preferred chapters in The Spark That Left Us. He’s one of the few characters with an acknowledged back story, a history. Writing events currently happening to your characters is easy. You write it. It happens. You feel that little twist, since you’re responsible for that happening, whether they love or laugh or cry or scream. It’s you. All you.

But when it comes to writing the past, there’s a slew of consequences that follows. If I do this, how do they act now? If I say this, how does the ripple affect every other character in your story, what they do, how they react.

Additional issues, with the mythos that fills The Spark That Left us – is that no one can trust the construct of their reality. Then you end up in a situation where, do they know this even happened? Would they react differently if they knew it did?

So now, while writing (the tentatively titled) Sparks Ignite – although being set in the future, a year onward from the final events of The Spark That Left Us, there has been a backslide into the past, events that shaped where the characters were lined up in order to pursue the events of TSTLU, in order for them to understand what is happening to them now. And I am in constant fear of, what if something happens, something brilliantly important happens – and suddenly casts a shadow over TSTLU?

 

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